Back in October, JMC Analytics and Polling analyzed voter registration statistics in all of Louisiana’s 64 parishes to determine whether the August 2016 flood that hit south Louisiana especially hard (more so than the 1983 flood) was a “Katrina event” (i.e., the scope of the devastation sparked a massive resettlement into other parts of the state and/or to other states). From that analysis, it was determined that there was no evidence of out migration from the 22 parishes included in the federal disaster declaration.
The decision to resettle, however, is not an instantaneous one (as was apparent during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina), and this was an analysis that JMC wanted to revisit after more time had passed. Now that three months have passed since the initial analysis, and Louisiana has been through a Presidential election cycle, has anything changed? JMC used both voter registration and voter participation data to determine whether there was any evidence of an exodus from the parishes that received the brunt of the August 2016 flooding.
PART ONE: VOTER REGISTRATION CHANGE FROM 8/1/2016 TO 1/1/2017
Statewide: 1.0% increase in voter population
Flooded parishes (defined above): 1.0% increase in voter population (1.0% for Ascension, East Baton Rouge, and Livingston)
Parishes that didn’t flood: 1.0% increase in voter population
PART TWO: VOTER TURNOUT CHANGE BETWEEN 2012/2016 PRESIDENTIAL EELCTIONS
Statewide: 1.7% increase in Presidential turnout
Flooded parishes: 2.4% increase in Presidential turnout (1.6% for Ascension, East Baton Rouge, and Livingston)
Parishes that didn’t flood: 1.2% increase in Presidential turnout
An examination of both voter registration and voter participation changes does now show any evidence of a population exodus brought about by the August 2016 flooding in South Louisiana.